Less than a week after a Florida man was arrested on charges of selling nearly three dozen fake Babe Ruth signed baseballs to Florida pawn and second hand shops, Clackamas County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office detectives executed a search warrant at the Gresham home of a 39-year-old man who is under investigation for selling counterfeit autographs.
Chad Baldwin, 39, allegedly created fake signed sports memorabilia including Babe Ruth and Roger Maris autographed baseballs and sold them with phony certificates of authenticity to unsuspecting buyers.
Detectives believe Baldwin used Craigslist to advertise the sales of signed baseballs. They say he included forged authentication certificates from James Spence Authentication and PSA/DNA. All of the collected authentication documents have been confirmed as forgeries.
In April of this year, Baldwin advertised a signed “Roger Maris” baseball on Craigslist. Detective say he sold the baseball with a PSA/DNA authentication certificate to a man in nearby Sherwood. It was determined that the signed baseball was a fraud and that the authentication letter was forged.
Also in April of this year, Baldwin put a “Babe Ruth” baseball with a JSA letter of authentication on Craigslist. That baseball to a Vancouver man and again, the sheriff’s office says the baseball and authentication letter were confirmed as fraudulent.
It isn’t Baldwin’s first brush with the law. 13 years ago, he was convicted of robbing an armored car in 1997. He was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for that crime and ordered to repay more than $22,000 in restitution to the armored car company.
He is under investigation for theft by deception, computer crimes, identity theft and criminal simulation for the phony autograph scam.
On Tuesday, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office detectives executed a search warrant at Baldwin’s Gresham home. Investigators recovered evidence that leads them to believe there are more victims.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office’s confidential Tip Line — by telephone at 503-723-4949 or by using the online e-mail form. Please reference Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Case #11-11610.